A man who battled on after suffering major facial injuries received a standing ovation as he collected his Sunderland Echo Health Award.
But Les Boobis was only one of a host of worthy winners at our annual awards held last night at the Stadium of Light.
He brought the audience to their feet as he collected the Long Term Achievement Award for the way he has dedicated nearly 30 years to health care in Sunderland, including specialist work in the vascular service. But that is just part of the story of a man who once struggled into work after a cycling accident.
He suffered facial injuries, yet still kept up his commitment to his patients.
His incredible story typified the night filled with health heroes.
Another outstanding medical professional was Cathie Burke, who picked up the Special Recognition Award for her work with hundreds of people facing up to the nightmare of sight loss. Awards judges described her as an invaluable asset who was always willing to go the extra mile.
Their awards were just two of the highlights on the night when 17 worthy winners picked up trophies.
Other fantastic winners include Dr Quasim, who scooped GP of the Year; Herrington Medical Centre, which achieved GP practice of the Year; Mr G O’Dair who was crowned Hospital Doctor of the Year; while Hospital Nurse of the Year was Sarah Hindle.
Community nurse of the year went to Lynn Muthu, who was one of the very first Nurse Practioner’s in Sunderland.
The Dental Practice award went to Frederick Street Dental, and the Health Team award went to Ward F65.
The Optician award went to KB & RL Gardner while the Dental Nurse honour went to Tonie Crisp. The winner of the Health Care Professional award went to Sally Rooney, who counsels and supports her families through times of need and empowers them through advice and education.
Kim Joyce picked up the award for Health Assistant/Care Worker; while the Pharmacy award went to Penshaw Pharmacy. The Customer Service honour went to April Purvis/Susan Johnson and the Health Volunteer winner was Hug in a Bag.
The Sunderland Echo news team was there to capture interviews with all of the winners as well as dozens of photographs of a memorable night.
Many will appear in a supplement in the Sunderland Echo on Wednesday next week. Make sure you get you copy.